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'Pretty Little Liars' Gay-Cap, Ep. 2:04: Swim Meets, Scrapbooks and Would-Be Stalkers

'Pretty Little Liars' Gay-Cap, Ep. 2:04: Swim Meets, Scrapbooks and Would-Be Stalkers

It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve had a Pretty Little Liars recap since pretty little lesbian Emily’s (Shay Mitchell) storyline was pretty much on ice for last week’s show. This week however, that cute, although not wholly trustworthy, Samara (Claire Holt) wormed her way into Emily’s mom Pam’s (Nia Peeples) heart with a line of BS longer than the length of Rosewood, PA.


It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve had a Pretty Little Liars recap since pretty little lesbian Emily’s (Shay Mitchell) storyline was pretty much on ice for last week’s show. This week however, that cute, although not wholly trustworthy, Samara (Claire Holt) wormed her way into Emily’s mom Pam’s (Nia Peeples) heart with a line of BS longer than the circumference of Rosewood, Penn.

Before we get to the recap here’s a quick catch-up on what Em got up to last week. We all know that Em’s not just beautiful but she’s a shark in the pool, out swimming all of the other lasses, and that caught the eye of a scout from the fictional Danby University a few weeks ago. At the time Em was able to convince her mom that she couldn’t move to Texas for a year or she’d lose her shot at a free ride to college. Ever the pragmatic one Pam agreed to stay in sunny Rosewood if Em could produce a promise letter from the scout.

When said scout could not promise that Danby would pay Em’s way for four years Em dabbled in some mendacity and crafted a faux letter for her mom. And at naughty little Hanna’s prodding, Em practically sent the letter, but in a moment of clarity she tore it up and tossed it in the trash. Still, that crafty and nefarious “A” got a hold of the letter and tucked it under Em’s doorstep for mama Pam to discover. Emily, in a state of how-the-hell-did-my-mom-get-her-hands-on-that-letter failed to disclose the truth and yet again became the apple of mom’s eye, bringing them nearly as close as they were pre-Emily coming out.

Now, on to this week...

Blind Dates, Ep. 2:04, SPOILERS

First up, the pretty little liars are milling about on the wrong side of the tracks outside a pawn shop while Spencer (Troian Bellisario) attempts, to no avail, to buy back her sister Melissa’s wedding ring which she sold to buy her boyfriend, Toby, a truck. This gets convoluted and we’re really only re-capping Em’s stuff so moving on…

If you recall, the girls have been told by their therapist, played by the lovely Annabeth Gish -- of Mystic Pizza fame-- that they should spend less time together as their collective obsession with their dead mean girl friend Ally is causing a strain in other parts of their lives. As an aside, why couldn't I ever  find a therapist who looks like Annabeth Gish? I might actually have done some deep soul-searching on her couch if that were the case.

At the pawn shop Aria (Lucy Hale) asks Emily how she’s holding up in light of “A’s” latest game with the Danby letter.

“Great, ever since I got that fake scholarship letter my mom thinks I can do no wrong,” Em replies. “I’m living a lie I didn’t even tell.”

Chris Evans

“Leave it to ‘A’ to make you feel bad about your mom feeling good,” says Hanna (Ashley Benson) the sage.

Later, Em’s puttering around in her bedroom when Pam comes up with a box full of Danby paraphernalia she’s sure the scout sent to Em. But Em knows better. This trick has the mark of ‘A’ all over it, and if there were any doubt there’s a note that reads, “So happy to have you on our A-Team.”

This is a photo of roommates.

Next up, Emily’s sporting her swim team sweat suit and her hot drowned rat look following her swim meet when her biggest swim fan Samara comes rushing in to gush about how amazing Emily’s strokes are.


“I’m even more impressed by that commitment letter you got from Danby,” Samara says to Em’s chagrin. Emily hasn’t told anyone besides the little liars about the letter debacle.

Feeding a Friend

“How’d you hear about that?” a gobsmacked Em asks Samara.

“From your mom, just like everybody else at the pool. She is totally stoked and so am I, I mean, Danby is a beautiful campus and I could come visit…” Samara says. Yeesh, they’ve had one date and already Samara’s visiting Em at college a good year down the line. I mean, she’s cute but that’s a little forward thinking.

When Samara senses Emily is none too excited over the revelation that mama Pam has been bragging about Danby, she immediately thinks it’s about her.

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“What’s wrong? Oh my God, you don’t want to go to Danby? Or you don’t want me to come to Danby?” Samara asks. Samara had better get used to long pauses and secrets on Em’s end since just about everyday she’s receiving blackmailing text, having her hard drive wiped clean and running around in some dark secluded place with Aria, Spence and Hanna in search of answers to 'A's' identity.

“No, it’s not that,” Em assures Samara. “That letter’s not real she says. The coach from Danby didn’t write it. I did,” she adds.

The plan

“Wow, so you just mailed it to yourself?” Samara asks with a hint of being impressed by Emily’s manipulation. Samara may be cute but she’s going to be trouble. Mark my words…

“Yeah, something like that,” Em says before proud mama Pam walks in congratulating Em on her swim meet win.

Em introduces her mom to Samara and Pam gets midway through a firm two-handed handshake before getting the picture that Samara is not just any old friend of Em’s.

“Emily has told me so much about you and it’s nice to finally meet,” Pam says, and I’m certain she’s lying on Em’s behalf so Samara doesn’t think Em’s ashamed of her. Then Pam suggests a celebration and invites Samara for dinner. This is a far cry from that wildly uncomfortable dinner Em’s first love Maya had with Pam not long before Pam went digging through Maya’s backpack, discovered her weed stash and had her hauled off to juvie ex-gay rehab.

Chris Evans

Of course Samara accepts the invititation but Em looks wildly uncomfortable at the thought of another mother/girlfriend dinner.

Close up

“Relax, if I’m there and the truth slips out, your mom won’t get so angry,” Samara suggests, and I’m fairly certain she doesn’t realize just how far Pam’s come. The Danby lie could send her into a spiral.

Chris Evans and Hayley Atwell

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Later, Em and Samara are huddled up close on her bed under the auspices of peering at Em’s baby scrapbook together, but we know the scrapbook is a ruse for proximity purposes.


Samara the crafty sycophant knows just what to say when Pam turns up to hang out I the doorway.

“Did you put this together?” she asks. “Did you use a glue gun to stick the rice paper to the binding?"


“What else?” Pam says, clearly impressed that Samara is privy to this little piece of arts and crafts magic. Then Samara goes on a tangent about a glue gun that leads to her dropping that she makes jewelry.

“My mom and I made some scrapbooks when I was a kid but they never turned out this well,” she says like a master manipulator. Bam, in one fell swoop she sucked up to Pam’s ego, demonstrated her knowledge of a craft and established that she, at least at some point, has a close relationship with her mother. Girl is GOOD!

Then Pam announces she’s thinking of creating a new scrapbook for Em. “Sort of a Rosewood to Danby theme,” she says, while Em’s smile fades away.

Chris Evans

“That’s a great idea,” Samara pipes up. Now she’s just a shit stirrer!

Pam continues to say to Em that they should take a tour of Danby and start their research early but Samara can see that Emily’s getting really freaked out by the continual lie. Emily interrupts her mom on the verge of telling the truth but Samara’s wheels are spinning and she interrupts.

Chris Evans

“The truth is, Danby has a good team but so do a lot of other places. My dad knows the coach at Stanford and they have a great team. I was just telling Emily that I think a lot of different schools will be interested in her,” Samara says crafting a long line of bullshit from which there may be no return. But wait, she’s not done yet. Pam asks if Samara really thinks Em will have all those options and Samara spews more crap.

“With her times, totally. I wouldn’t get locked in to Danby,” she says. “Play it cool and wait for the other offers to roll in senior year. That’s when the real action starts,” she adds.

A mostly mum Emily just listens and smiles. Wow, Samara really is the second coming of Alison.

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Presumably it's the next day at school and Samara again runs up to Emily kind out of the blue.

Chris Evans

“Have you transferred here without telling me?” Em asks, addressing the question viewers may also have.

“I thought about it,” Samara jokes. “No, I called you this morning but I got your voice mail so I thought I’d stalk you…” Okay, so I made that last bit up but Samara is capable I am telling you!

“I wanted to see how you were doing after last night’s near miss,” Samara says. It’s more like she wants to know how much Emily adores her for lying her ass off on Em’s behalf.

Chris Evans

“Okay, though I feel like I just postponed the inevitable,” Em says.

Chris Evans

“Maybe not. What I said last night was the truth,” Samara says with a hint of delusion. “Except for the part about my dad knowing the coach from Stanford, but it was good advice.”

Em explains that excited mama Pam was online first thing checking out every college with “an endowment and a pool.”

Chris Evans

“So it worked!” Samara says. “So be happy, for now, with me…At least it gives us time for a second date,” she says. Wow, Emily sure is moving slowly with this one. She’s been the lesbian make-out queen of Rosewood thus far.

Chris Evans

That’s about it for this episode. Tune in next week when Emily and Samara might actually get around to that second date, although at this point, I’m pretty sure insecure, wacky Paige with the bad 90’s bob cut is better for Emily than Samara – and that’s after Paige dunked Em in the pool after hours. 

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author avatar

Tracy E. Gilchrist

<p>Cinephile, cyclist, proud cat lady and unabashed Pretty Little Liars guru.</p>

<p>Cinephile, cyclist, proud cat lady and unabashed Pretty Little Liars guru.</p>